Jam, jellies, and preserves are great items that allow you to introduce summer-time flavors into your cooking year round. They can be used in a myriad of ways including glazes for roasted meats, in marinades, dipping sauces, salad dressings, fillings for cookies and tarts, just about anything you can think of that would benefit from a little bit of sweetness and fruit flavors.
The Root Cellar in downtown Columbia, Mo has a great selection of different, tasty spreads. Locally produced apple butter, apricot jam, gooseberry, elderberry, peach, and pear jellies can all be found on their shelves.
One you should be certain to check out comes courtesy of Miller’s Kitchen. Miriam and Freeman Miller in Windsor, MO currently produce most of the jams and jellies at The Root Cellar and their Pear Honey is like nothing you’ve had before. Its simplicity is really delightful; pears, sugar, and pineapple, that’s it. The combination of the two fruits does the name justice by creating a flavor reminiscent of fresh honey but with the texture of a rustic fruit preserve. Its consistency is a bit runny so using it in marinades and sauces will work best or, you could really keep things simple and have it one of my favorite ways; spread on freshly baked biscuits served alongside a strong cup of coffee.
Whole Wheat Biscuits:
Makes about 6 large biscuits
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ sticks of cold, unsalted butter
- 1c cold, milk
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking pan with parchment paper (stack two pans together if possible to avoid burning the bottoms of the biscuits)
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, cut your cold butter into small chunks and add it to the flour mixture. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, break-up the chunks of butter into smaller pieces. The idea is to coat the flour somewhat with the fat to “shorten” the gluten strands formed in dough. This will give your biscuits a soft, melt in your mouth texture. It’s not necessary to break up all the butter chunks uniformly, simply stop when your dough starts to look mealy.
Add the cold milk to the mix and give it a quick stir with your hands just to make sure everything gets wet. The dough will be very sticky at this point. Liberally spread some flour on the counter top and dump the dough out onto it. Give the top of the dough a heavy dusting of flour as well and flatten it to about an inch and a half thick with your hands. Cut circles out of the dough, dipping the cutter into flour before each cut to keep it from sticking, and place the rounds onto the parchment lined baking sheet (you can use a plastic cup with the bottom cut off or you can make square biscuits using a sharp knife if you don’t have a round cutter).
Bake the biscuits for about 20-25 minutes until the tops are just starting to brown. Let them cool a bit then spread on the Pear Honey and enjoy.
For more info: The Root Cellar 814 E Broadway, Columbia, MO (573) 443-5055